These seven songs may have been written out of love, but they come off a bit more menacing. There is a thin line between sweet and creepy, and these lovesick lunatics have definitely crossed it, starting with:
“Every Breath You Take” by The Police
The notorious “Every Breath You Take,” the famous “stalker song,” ironically performed by The Police. You wouldn’t think lyrical law enforcement would allow such a blatant threat to air on public radio: “Every breath you take, every move you make… I’ll be watching you.” That sounds like a serious invasion of privacy, if you ask me. If Sting wrote me this song, I’d be filing a big fat restraining order. Seriously, boy, back off. Give a girl some room to breath. Literally.
“One Way Or Another” by Blondie
But even “Every Breath You Take” is tame compared to “One Way Or Another.” Blondie isn’t even subtle, just straight up: I’m stalking you, “I’m gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha!” America’s favorite lovesick ultimatum…
“I will drive by your house,
and when the lights all are down,
I’ll see who’s around…”
“My Girl” by Nirvana
Next we have Nirvana’s psycho-killer serenade, “My Girl.” Kurt Cobain must not have graduated stalker school because he lost track of his lady right away. He searches for her, “in the pines, where the sun don’t ever shine.” He clearly lacks the stalker-expertise that Sting and Blondie boast, both of whom would know exactly where their victims slept last night, unlike Cobain. It soon becomes clear why “his girl” is hiding:
“Her husband was a hard-working man just about a mile from here.
His head was found in a driving wheel but his body never was found.”
Trust me, I’d be hiding too…
“Hey You” by Pink Floyd
Next, and equally as creepy, is Pink Floyd’s “Hey You”—one of my all-time favorite songs, don’t get me wrong. So is “My Girl,” but that doesn’t make it any less deranged. Alright, let’s take this line by line, beginning with “Hey you, out there on the road, always doing what you’re told, can you help me?” For future reference, if someone ever asks you this, the correct response is “No.” We’ve all seen Silence of the Lambs.
“Hey You” is extra creepy since it seems like this guy’s stalking several people, assuming each “Hey you” is someone new. “Hey you, out there in the cold… Hey you, standing in the aisle… Hey you, out there on your own, sitting naked by the phone, would you touch me?” Who sits naked by the phone anyway? And why didn’t they use it to call The Police? (Maybe because the Police were busy stalking someone else, watching every breath they take.) “Hey You” continues:
“But it was only a fantasy,
The wall was too high, as you can see,
No matter how he tried he could not break free,
And the worms ate into his brain.”
Straight up Silence of the Lambs! It’s one thing to watch somebody, maybe follow them around every so often. It’s another thing to feed them to the worms.
“Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” by Urge Overkill
Don’t worry, this next song isn’t quite so psycho-killer-esque. If anything, it’s just a simple case of statutory rape, as implicated by the title, “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon.” However, the implications of the title alone are not enough to qualify for the stalker list. This one might not have made the cut, had the band not been called Urge Overkill. They better overcome their urges if they want to keep their records clean.
“Hey There Delilah” by the Plain White T’s
Don’t pretend you don’t remember all the words to this one—the Plain White T’s’ “Hey There Delilah”—07’s greatest hit, and the only song to air on radio that year, if I remember correctly. It was catchy, I won’t lie. But have you ever wondered what became of this Delilah? Did she marry him, or what? I mean, why wouldn’t she? He wrote a song for her—so sweet! Or so you think…
Indeed, Delilah does exist—she is a real, living person—a professional runner, in fact. Her full name is Delilah DiCrescenzo. She met Tom Higginson, lead singer of the Plain White T’s, at a party in Chicago. Although she only met him once, and had a boyfriend at a time, she sure made an impression because a few months later, Tom showed up at her door with a CD, and on it was the track “Hey There Delilah.” Knowing this, I am a little disconcerted by Tom’s level of affection for the girl, seeing as he barely knows her. This popular cross-continental love song now takes on a whole new meaning.
Higginson begins, “Hey there Delilah, what’s it like in New York City? I’m a thousand miles away, but girl, tonight you look so pretty.” Higginson gives Sting and Blondie a run for their money. He’s so sneaky he stalks women all the way across the country. It’s no wonder she’s a runner, I mean, I’d be running too. I’d run as fast and far away as possible.
But Higginson’s persistent; he just doesn’t take the hint. He sings:
“A thousand miles seems pretty far,
But they’ve got plains and trains and cars,
I’d walk to you if I had no other way.”
I wonder how Delilah’s boyfriend feels about this song.
“Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen
You may be surprised that I’ve included Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” on this list, but hear me out. I know it’s beautiful and all, but some lines really make me wonder, like, “You saw her bathing on the roof. Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you.” I cannot imagine any circumstances under which someone would watch somebody bathe, unless they’re stalking them. That’s probably the first lesson they teach at stalker school. Especially because after he watches her, she up and ties him to a chair. I doubt she’d do that if he didn’t have it coming. Unless she’s also stalking him, in which case this song is even more bananas than I thought.
Come to think of it, after “She tied you to the kitchen chair, she broke your throne and cut your hair, and from your lips she drew the Hallelujah.” This girl’s vicious! Could it be, the only double-stalker song in history? She lures him in, like a moth to a flame—he waltzes right into her web—all the while thinking he is stalking her. Say what? Both of them are trying to out-stalk the other, prove that they’re superior, but “Love is not a victory march, it’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah.” Indeed, and all that Cohen’s “ever learned from love is how to shoot at someone who outdrew you…” Someone whose love he had to conquer by force for lack of will, someone who couldn’t love him in return. Maybe that’s what makes a stalker—the rejection, loneliness, and lo and behold, a stalker is born, of romantic misfortune.
Maybe Cohen doesn’t know what love is, but he does know what it isn’t. He knows “It’s not a cry you can hear at night,” although he probably often does.
So what’s the moral of the story? It’s that stalking isn’t love, it’s a symptom of a lack thereof—unrequited affection. So don’t judge these songs too harshly, or the songwriters who wrote them. They may be creepy, but at least they’re creeps who care.